3 Count: Square Deal

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1: Square Enix Files Counterclaim Against SNK Playmore Over Hi Score Girl Manga

First off today, Anime News Network reports that Square Enix has filed a counterclaim against SNK Playmore and is seeking a summary judgment that says its manga (comic) Hi Score Girl is not an infringement of SNK Playmore’s copyrights.

SNK had previously sued Square Enix alleging that Hi Score Girl, which centers on a girl who enjoys playing fighting games, routinely features characters from the games. SNK had also gotten the local police involved and they had raided Square Enix offices searching for evidence of infringement.

Now Square is hitting back, seeking a judgement that its manga doesn’t infringe on SNK’s rights. In the meantime, Square has voluntarily halted publication of the manga and has also recalled all printed copies.

2: NAB to Copyright Board ” Start Over on Digital

Next up today, Dave at the Radio & Television Business report writes that the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is asking the Copyright Royalty Board to revisit the issue of royalties for digital music streaming and bring the royalties in line with what it considers to be what a willing buying and seller would agree to in open negotiations.

The Copyright Royalty Board sets the statutory royalties for music streaming and revisits the issue every few years. however, the NAB is claiming that the current rates are too high and that broadcasters are unable to earn revenue from online streaming, leading many to limit or cease streaming altogether.

The NAB further argues that royalty rates need to be set by market size, rather than a flat rate, and that the Copyright Royalty Board should take into account the fact record labels actively seek airplay on radio stations as a means to promote their music.

3: Why a Judge Allowed MGM to Pursue Universal Over a ‘James Bond Knockoff’

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that recently unsealed documents explain why a judge, two weeks ago, allowed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures to move forward even though the film involved has not been made and may not even be made at all.

The lawsuit centers around a potential film “Section 6”, which is potentially going to be produced by Universal. MGM and production company Danjaq claims that that it is an infringement of the James Bond franchise of films. Universal, in turn, argues that the film hasn’t even been fully green lit and may change a great deal before it’s made if it is at all.

However, two weeks ago a judge allowed the lawsuit to move forward. In the recent unsealed decision, he argued that the similarities between Section 6 and James Bond were greater than than those in a 1995 Honda commercial, which saw MGM emerge victorious in the legal case. The language seems to indicate that the judge is doing more than allowing the lawsuit to move forward, but it showing that he is favoring the arguments by MGM.

Suggestions

That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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